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Poster: bigdaddyrico85 Date: Nov 10, 2012 9:29pm
Forum: moviesandfilms Subject: Questions About Trailers

So how do the copyright on trailers work? I do a tv show and would love to play them but fearful of copyright infringment. Am I legally able to use them?

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Poster: larus Date: Nov 18, 2012 12:11pm
Forum: moviesandfilms Subject: Re: Questions About Trailers

There is a court case, Lamb v Starks (949 F. Supp. 753, N.D. Cal. 1996) in which courts determined that unauthorized use of an out-of-copyright trailer for a copyrighted film constituted copyright infringement because the trailer was considered a derivative of the film itself. I haven't found an online version of the ruling, but the case is discussed here and here. This particular case arose because the defendant used the trailer to promote their own product, glasses allowing viewers to watch TV programs in 3D, without the plaintiff's permission.

On the other side of things, Susan Nicholson Hofheinz lost a 2002 lawsuit against A&E Television Networks over their use of a 20 seconds clip from the 2 minute-long It conquered the world trailer in a show covering Peter Graves' life. In this case, the courts ruled that the use of the clip was considered fair use.

In one word, it's a complex matter. Lawsuits might come if you are using the trailers for commercial purposes or if the copyright holder for the film feels harmed by the way you are using the trailers, and the outcome might vary depending on whether you are using entire trailers or just clips.

As a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer and am just throwing out some pointers. Since copyright attorneys don't seem to frequent the Internet Archive boards, you may not get the most informed opinions here. You might be better off consulting a copyright attorney for legal advice if you really want to use trailers, especially if it is for commercial purposes.

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Poster: PDpolice Date: Nov 18, 2012 1:24pm
Forum: moviesandfilms Subject: Re: Questions About Trailers

This is possibly the best advice I have ever seen in this forum. Until the Emperor of Television resumes his throne, I submit you be appointed Copyright Regent.
I would still enjoy a return of our missing Royalty though.